It takes patience to be a hazelnut farmer, but Christie Mcleod and Michael Delphin are ready to celebrate big after years of waiting.
The pair, who own Hazelbrae Hazelnuts at Hagley, hosts the first-ever Meander Valley Hazelnut Festival, celebrating the impending hazelnut harvest, and celebrating the growing industry.
"When we first started we were the only ones, but now the industry has grown so much," Ms Mcleod said.
After successfully obtaining a COVID-19 recovery grant from the Meander Valley Council, Ms Mcleod and Mr Delphin began planning the festival in haste.
"It was a bit for us a chance to relaunch the cafe, and to celebrate the harvest, we wanted to bring an event back," she said.
The family-friendly event is a ticketed event, with general admission and premium tickets available.
It will feature hazelnut fairies, childrens' activities, tractor tours through the orchard, and nut cracking and home-made Nutella-eating competitions.
Ms Mcleod said hazelnut fairies would be telling the stories about hazelnuts and their links to fertility, which was a traditional story told throughout the generations.
Hazelnut harvest begins mid-March, and Ms Mcleod said this year yield was looking good.
She said two seasons of favourable weather had helped the crop.
The bumper crop was another reason the pair wanted to celebrate with an event, after a year disrupted by COVID, as well as more happy news, the arrival of their daughter.
"We had been thinking about this event for a while, but COVID put it on the back burner, but we hired a new chef in December and we thought we could pull it off," she said.
The event will also feature music from the Pete Cornelius duo, with a stage set up at the cafe's front.
Ms Mcleod said premium seating for the music was available, but otherwise, attendees are asked to find a patch of grass to pull up.
"We want to encourage people to bring a picnic basket, bring it empty and grab some food from the vendors and find a patch of grass."
Ms Mcleod said she hoped it would become an annual event, even if this year tickets were limited, due to COVID crowd restrictions.
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